Mel Kier aka Jemma Jube is one of those clever ladies who design clothes for real women. Her area of expertise is swimwear with a vintage glamour twist, and she certainly knows a thing or two about making girls experience the vavavoom effect on the beach!
❤ What are your main inspirations?
Retro pink flicks and the films of Russ Meyer, John Waters and Fellini; Vegas showgirls; Bob Fosse; sixties playboy bunnies; Tura Satana, Dolly Parton, Peggy Bundy and Rose Portias. Jemma Jube women are super sexy and larger-than-life!
❤ Who would you like to see wearing your creations?
Wonder Woman, or any of Russ Meyer's screen sirens, particularly Varla (Tura Satana) in Faster Pussycat.
❤ How did you get into swimwear design?
I grew up in a small beachside community north of Sydney, Australia, where swimwear is an indispensable part of daily life. My friends and I had trouble finding swimwear we liked. We had been buying vintage styles, but these were becoming harder to find, particularly in good condition. The man-made fabrics were usually beginning to rot and unfortunately woven cottons are uncomfortable to wear and take a long time to dry. Alternatively, most contemporary swimwear on the market was either skimpy and unflattering for most body types, or the other extreme, overly mature and conservative. There was a huge gap in the market for sexy yet flattering and functional swimwear of superior quality, so I decided to make my own and created a label which utilises the technological advancements of textiles, combined with luxury vintage chic and a modern twist.
❤ Do you think you will even branch out into lingerie?
Jemma Jube does a cute 60's inspired lace lingerie set called 'Linda' and a silk/cotton blend kimono (Miko) which can be worn poolside or when entertaining a lover. Jemma Jube will definitely be branching out into more lingerie and luxe poolside accessories in the near future.
❤ Can you tell me more about your current collection?
Impossibly perky majorettes and vampy tiger tamers.
❤ What advice would you give someone trying to choose a swimsuit?
Just like outerwear, accentuate your assets and disguise your not-so-good bits. Jemma Jube features lots of details and contouring like super high-waisted shorts, one-pieces to suck in tummies and accentuate curves and frills and skirts to disguise those little areas you prefer not to show off. Bust areas are also designed with support in mind, plus ruching to create enhancement for those not so well endowed. Jemma Jube is all about flaunting your curves and embracing your womanly assets. No longer should beachside exhibitionism remain the domain of neat teens and carrot feasting gym junkies!
❤ Why did you decide to make retro swimwear?
Jemma Jube is not so much a retro swimwear label, but infused with the glamour and cuts of fuller vintage pieces. Even the skimpier Jemma Jube triangle styles are cut with a much fuller brief than you're average triangle swimsuit. I've never really understood the Brazil cut and still think even the trimmest derrière would look far cuter in a sixties style brief. Jemma Jube is sophisticated and super sexy, vampy, even tarty but never slutty. There's a difference!
❤ What is your personal style?
Hmm, I'd like to say a little Faster Pussycat with a touch of Fosse-fantastic razzle dazzle and a dash of flamenco spice.